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Old 23-12-2011, 07:42   #1
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Homebuilt Catamaran

First, I know that I need more sailing experience. I have a co-worker who has offered a trip on their sailboat next time I am in Florida. And I have a friend who wants me to go sailing in California sometime. Plus, I would take classes before doing anything.

However the cruising lifestyle seems like a good match for my personality and my quest to escape the snow in the winter and the heat in the summer.

I also like having plans and knowing it is possible to achieve a dream. But, if there is something obviously not practical, please tell me.

I have nothing against the professionally built catamarans, they are very nice. And if I didn't have to wipe out my entire retirement and savings account, I might be able to afford one and maintain it. (If one of my inventions takes off and I don't have to worry about money, I would go for one of them)

I would want to build one myself (and with help from others) for between $20,000-$30,000 in the 34 ft. range. Not that it would be laid out like a professional 34 ft. boat in terms of living space, but the hulls would be 34 ft long. (They would be longer if it weren't for taxes and fees). And I will want to work on this full time, and get it in the water within 6-12 months (I'm an optimist). I already have a solar power system and inverter that would work, and doesn't get factored into the budget. And 400 ah of LiFePO4 batteries @ 48V wouldn't be included in that price. I am looking to sail close to my hometown in Michigan and the Great Lakes during the summer, and down the ICW to Key West, Bahamas, PR, and the BVI during the winter.

I am looking for modern simplicity. There would be some nice features, but the boat can be left alone for a day or two at anchor and there won't be anything easy to steal.



I am looking for a 'simple' boat construction process that I could do. I am good at wood-working and non-welding metal work. I'm also good at making polycarbonate windows and any electrical installs.

I would like to find out more about this building process.
KD860page

A nice hammock in the cockpit area when at anchor would be nice (as well as bug nets all around).

The cockpit area will have a bimini over it, similar to this one made out of solar panels and aluminum supports.


Hopefully that stuff is pretty non-controversial and doesn't 'rock the boat'.

Now for the 'different' stuff.

I would like to keep the weight down (although I'm not sure the marine plywood and fiberglass process is very lightweight.). I would be ok with an air mattress double bed (maybe one of those sleep number beds as an 'upgrade' later)

I only need two berths and one head. I would like the head to be bigger than normally found. Converting one berth to a salon during the day would be possible. In the galley, I only need a stove, sink, and a refrigerator/freezer. An outdoor grill and a food prep table would be used often.

It would have an electric motor in both hulls. Or one centrally mounted one. Although I think two work be much more efficient at turning. I'll have to think about that one some more.

One of the aft berths would be converted into a storage locker accessible from the cockpit. I would like to travel with a few bikes, and I would think that is easier than trying to squeeze them through the interior.

I also don't like waves very much, so at a minimum, I would use something like this while at anchor.


Challenge: How to Stop Rolling at Anchor

Roll Control Devices

The crazy part of me would want to do a few other modifications to help it sail smoother in choppy seas.

I would also like a digny that could carry bicycles easily along with two people.

There is probably a lot more that I will think of in the next few days. I have started to look at prices for sailing hardware, sails, and electronics though, and the budget could go pretty fast.
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Old 23-12-2011, 07:50   #2
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

You are probably going to need alot more money. Consider an older tri. Also you should probably post in this forum instead. Boat Design Forums BOB
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Old 23-12-2011, 08:43   #3
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

Sounds like you're not willing to change your way of thinking in regards to living on a cruising sailboat. There are some things that are just not practicle on a boat in the size range you're indicating. Perhaps you should do some more research into boat construction and just why things are as they are before you become too set in your ideas of an oversized head, calmness of water and cutting holes in boats where nobody else is willing to.
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Old 23-12-2011, 09:03   #4
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

I like the idea of "Modern Simplicity" - and if you are building principally for 1 or 2 crew (plus a couple of guests, now and again) then can get away from the standard approach of fitting in as many berths as possible (it's what sells), therefore freeing up room for living space and storage.

My gut feeling for your plans is that 34' will be on the small side, seems that Catamarans start to really come into there own when around 40' plus (onboard space & load carrying).....and IMO budget way too low.

In your shoes I would get as much time as possible on other peoples boats (Monos as well as Multis) will start to get a feel on what is liveable (for you) as well as learning on the sailing end of things.

For a build I would go for a designer who already has boats in the water and use one of his stock designs that has been designed for (and used by!) self builders. Will no longer have a blank canvas for everything you want to do - but at least you will know (in advance) that the design works as a boat! and that you don't need a boatyard to build her!

Anyway, welcome to CF!
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Old 23-12-2011, 09:38   #5
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

You "don't like waves very much"???

Forget the boat idea. stay away from aviation, too. Maybe automotive would be a good field. Or try redesigning log cabin construction, or maybe hollow out a huge boulder and build a home inside....how about trains? Mag lev technology? something totally without pitch, roll, and yaw.

You pretty much need to like waves if you want to be happy living on the ocean. trust me.
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Old 23-12-2011, 09:42   #6
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

I just love the flopper stoppers for a cat

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 23-12-2011, 09:46   #7
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I just love the flopper stoppers for a cat

ciao!
Nick.
Yep, wrong color for mine. LOL
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Old 23-12-2011, 09:57   #8
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U can afford an older used proven gemini for a bit more then your budget. Just the costs of spars, standing n running rigging , sails etc will wipe put your.budget. Flopper stoppers on a cat is kind of funny though
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:26   #9
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

6-12 months and $30,000 to build a 34 foot cat? You certainly are optimistic!

There are a few plywood designs that could fit your needs, but you need to multiply your financial budget by about 5, and the time by two or three, minimum.

At least you won't need to budget for the slop stoppers.

Have a look here: DIY Yachts • Index page in the member's multi's section you'll see what people are building, and how long it's taking them.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:42   #10
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

I'm guessing that a homebuilt you will save about 50% vs a new one. A new Gemini is about 200K. You do the math. I question if the OP has ever even been on a cat because they are quite stable both underway and at anchor. Also he says he wants it simple but then shows a large and expensive interior from the Diamante 555 which costs $1230000. And what relevance is that anyway. He really needs to do much much homeork. If he wants I can show you some cheap boats with crappy interiors. But on his budget I'm not sure if he can even afford a crappy interior. BOB
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Old 23-12-2011, 16:23   #11
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

You can build for $30,000 to $40,000. Look at plywood ,older stock designs, one outboard, ebay items ect. Start out by pricing out a blue water design into a dayboat build. Up grade after the build. Keep in mind you cant up grade the material ( epoxy, ply) or design. Also price out the differance between ply and foam, its not that much in the overall schame of things. Dont bet on 6 to 12 mo,s if you want to build at a low cost, as it takes time to find good deals. Rick
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Old 23-12-2011, 20:51   #12
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

You would be better served buying an older gemini,you can get one that needs a bit of upgrading for $20000, there is an excellent searunner 34 o ebay for $35000.
Steve.
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Old 23-12-2011, 22:11   #13
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

I was thinking of mounting a old house trailer to a couple of Pontoons, maybe use a stolen telephone pole for a mast, have not figured out what to use for cheap sailcloth yet..
oh yeah my budget is 854 dollars and 98 cents...
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Old 24-12-2011, 01:59   #14
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by rberrey View Post
You can build for $30,000 to $40,000. Look at plywood ,older stock designs, one outboard, ebay items ect. Start out by pricing out a blue water design into a dayboat build. Up grade after the build. Keep in mind you cant up grade the material ( epoxy, ply) or design. Also price out the differance between ply and foam, its not that much in the overall schame of things. Dont bet on 6 to 12 mo,s if you want to build at a low cost, as it takes time to find good deals. Rick
Disagree totally!. Go out and price sails, mast, rigging, hatches, motors, windows, electrical & electronics, deck winches and fittings, windlasses, anchor, tender, tanks, heads etc and if you have change from $30K I'll be very surprised! Then add your your ply, resins (epoxy or Vinylester), multiaxial glass, fillers, paint, daily consumeables etc and you will find that 44C is closer to the ball park. I am currently building a cat! My mast, deck fittings, rigging, sails, sail drives, paint just to name a few items will cost in excess of $125K. If you want to build a cheaper cat then build a power cat, otherwise look at a mono. $85K of the amount quoted above is unique to a sailing cat and buys a hell of a lot of fuel even at today's prices. Then you have to budget to replace sails and rigging every 5-7yrs at $20K plus, so a sailing cat is not as cheap as a lot of people think.
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Old 24-12-2011, 04:51   #15
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Re: Homebuilt catamaran

I would do this,,,,search every where for a hull there some great deals out there now . use any remailing money fixing it to yout taste You will get on the water sooner not a sure thing the other way Remember,, think hard on this if you are putting a ton of time and labor into a project make sure the final result will be something you will use for a long time bigger is ALWAYS better and forget electric motors you will end up with a mono
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